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Black Beast – Arctic Darkness

Black Beast
Arctic Darkness
by Kris Marsden at 13 January 2023, 5:12 PM

BLACK BEAST is back. This Finnish black metal act was born under a black banner in 2002. The band dropped their self-titled EP "Black Beast" three years later. Fourteen years later (2019), the band released their long-awaited debut, "Nocturnal Bloodlust", upon the world via Primitive Reaction. Three years later, BLACK BEAST is back with their second full-length release, "Arctic Darkness", released last November of 2022 via Primitive Reaction.

The first two tracks I like to discuss are the open piece "Intro" and the following track, "Black Magic and Witchcraft", the first song following the intro track. Starting with the "Intro" opening, which welcomes the listener with an introduction of mournful guitars and an icy atmosphere -following suit with "Black Magic and Witchcraft" and a blizzard of blast beats and drum strikes, raw menacing riffage/savage tremolo pickings and wintery-shrill vocals -all wrapped up like an arctic storm, that freezes over the listener's eardrums and soul.

The next track up for discussion is (where do I begin/which one to pick) Again, trying to single out a track discussion was challenging discussion to come across; I believe this frigid Finnish black metal act BLACK BEAST deserves the full attention - There are no favourites or skipping tracks, this needs & demands to listen as one. So the last two tracks I would like to discuss is the tenth track, "Summon the Angels", where the dark arctic aggression is kept until the last few minutes of the piece finishes with atmospheric keys—ending with "Hymn of the Freezing Wind", where the listener is welcome to the sound of arctic wind -following suit with a raw-progressive instrumental of those raw, menacing riffage/savage tremolo pickings, mid-tempo drum strikes and wintery-shrill vocals. When the listener gets more into the freezing atmosphere of the storm and the song, the musical atmosphere changes from the rhythmic riffage of the guitars, then back to the cold snap of aggression with a (now and then) change of moods/tempos. Roughly during the last two minutes, the listener is back in that arctic wind of darkness -while an interwoven of clean melodic riffs, mid-tempo aggression of the instruments, gentle female chants, a moment of a wintery-shrill vox, which all rustle through the arctic wind.

"Arctic Darkness", in my opinion, is an old-school/raw, bitter/cruel and frigid atmosphere freezing over the listener's eardrums -a musical spectrum/atmosphere journey of adding the band's wintery cold atmosphere of their homeland and their brethren BEHEXEN. At the same time, BLACK BEAST adds some influences of -early IMPALED NAZARENE, IMMORTAL, GORGOROTH, DISSECTION, (maybe some) BATHORY and perhaps a tint of crust/punk of -mid-DARKTHRONE, which is all folded into one wintry storm. The artwork is fantastic as well, and it fits in the BLACK BEAST's homeland, the cold music, songs and lyrical themes, which are about Blasphemy and Satan. Simultaneously "Arctic Darkness" is everything I expect from a black metal album (and artist). There's nothing to complain about; the album is a killer -those speakers need to be at eleven or past eleven for this beast.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Black Magic and Witchcraft
3. Fullmoon
4. Sadistic Act in Demonic Lust
5. Four Days in Paradise of Fornication
6. Depths of Damnation
7. Kuoleman kylmästä kosketuksesta
8. Night of the Arctic Darkness
9. I Am He
10. Summon the Angels
11. Hymn of the Freezing Wind
Lineup:
Infernal Tormentor Necrocorpse von Demonblood – Vocals
Ruumisruhtinas – Guitars
Xilocybe – Bass
Lord Sipilä – Drums
Record Label: Primitive Reaction
     


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